The Bahamas is a vast country consisting of over 700 islands spread out over an area 25 percent larger than New England. Attracted by yearround sunshine, the lure of excellent fishing, world-class diving and calm waters, thousands of boaters of all ages and nationalities visit the Bahamas each year. For many, it is their first foray into the laid-back island lifestyle romanticized by Ernest Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream and the melodies of Jimmy Buffett.

With all the good the islands have to offer, it is an immutable law of nature that from June 1 to November 30 every year, the country is subject to the ravages of tropical storms and hurricanes. When asked about the weather threat, most Bahamians take it in stride and rightly focus on the vast majority of days when the water is clear and the sky is blue. It is therefore not a coincidence that upon independence from Great Britain in 1973 the country chose the colors Blue, Yellow and Black for their national flag to signify the sea, the

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